• Reuters


More than half of Japan tuned in to watch the Brave Blossoms’ 28-21 Rugby World Cup win over Scotland on Sunday that earned Japan a place in the knockout stage for the first time, figures released by a ratings tracker showed.

Peak audience share clocked in at 53.7 percent of households in the greater Tokyo area and 52.2 percent in the Kansai region for the broadcast on Nippon Television, Video Research told Reuters on Tuesday.

The average over the course of the match was 39.2 percent in Kanto and 37.2 percent in Kansai.

The peak was reached at 9:41 p.m., a Video Research spokeswoman said, at the end of the match as Japan’s win sealed the top spot in Pool A and set up a quarterfinal clash against South Africa this Sunday.

That surpassed the high of 46.1 percent reached during Japan’s match against Samoa, which World Rugby had said was a record audience and local media had called the most-watched sporting event of the year in Japan.

The figures will be welcomed by World Rugby, which 10 years ago made the decision to bring the tournament to Asia for the first time, hoping to promote the sport beyond its traditional heartlands.

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